NSW Premier Mike Baird last night hosted an Iftar dinner for those in the NSW Muslim community observing Ramadan. Mr Baird hosted the NSW Government’s annual event at NSW Parliament House.
The Premier’s Iftar Dinner was attended by Members of Parliament, Muslim Imams and community leaders, as well as religious leaders from other faiths. Sections of the Muslim community boycotted the event in protest against the state Community Relations Commission chief Vic Alhadeff pro-Israleli comments. An AAP report says that community groups have demanded that Mr Alhadeff be sacked after he sent an email backing Israel’s efforts to “defend its citizens” in its fight against “terrorists in Gaza”.
At the dinner, Mr Baird said: “It is an honour to host an Iftar dinner – the breaking of the fast – with members of the NSW community who are observing Ramadan.
“Ramadan holds special significance in the life of Muslim Australians. It is a time of spiritual reflection and asks members of the Islamic faith to fast between sunrise and sunset.
“The focus and reflective nature of Ramadan supports our way of life, and is a timely reminder of the values we all share, including kindness, honesty, family and charity. These are values that contribute to the strength of our multifaith, and multicultural State, which the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government supports. I’d like to wish everyone observing the holy month, Ramadan Mubarak,” Mr Baird said.
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello, who attended the Premier’s Iftar Dinner, said the annual event reflected the efforts of the NSW Muslim community to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.
“Looking around the room, it was humbling to see so many political, religious and community leaders from different faiths and backgrounds eating together,” he said.
Published in Indian diaspora magazine, Sydney